Tiger Woods might not be in his prime on the golf course right now, but the 15-time major champion continues to be the face of the PGA Tour. When it comes to combatting the LIV Golf league, Rory McIlroy says he’s happy to have Woods on his side.
Woods flew from Florida to Delaware recently for a players meeting among some of the PGA Tour’s top members, according to USA Today. McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and others were among the names to be part of the conversation.
Discussions pertained to the future of the PGA Tour and the ongoing situation relating to LIV. Not many of the specifics came to light, but McIlroy said Woods still has a strong voice.
“I think it’s pretty apparent that whenever we all get in the room, there’s an alpha in there, and it’s not me,” McIlroy said.
LIV has grown significantly over the past few months, landing some big-time golf stars. Phil Mickelson was the first major name to join, along with Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Bubba Watson.
Woods, however, has remained loyal to the PGA Tour. CEO and commissioner of LIV Golf Greg Norman says the legendary golfer turned down an offer between $700-$800 million to join the startup league.
McIlroy says that carries a lot of weight.
“It’s impactful, and I think it shows how much he cares about the Tour,” McIlroy said. “I think it shows how much he cares about the players that are coming through and are going to be the next generation. Like it or not, they can’t really sell Tiger Woods anymore. The Tour had an easy job for 20 years. They don’t have Tiger – yes, they’ve got a bunch of us and we’re all great players, but we’re not Tiger Woods.”
“Everything is on the Table”
Tiger Woods called a private players meeting before Rory McIlroy and others on the PGA Tour hit the tee box for the BMW Championship this weekend. According to Alan Shipnuck of Fire Pit Collective, “everything is on the table.”
Potential topics of conversation included major championship boycotts, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan’s future, and larger compromises.
It’s an interesting era of golf we’re approaching. Can the two leagues co-exist? Will the pending lawsuits filed by multiple members of LIV force the PGA Tour to lift the suspensions imposed by Monahan over the summer? There’s a lot to figure out in the sport.
McIlroy says that, while things are changing, it’s nice to have a trusted voice like Woods.
“I think he’s carried the Tour for a long, long time,” McIlroy said, per USA Today. “I think we as players that were his contemporaries that were a little older than me but even the guys coming behind, we’ve all benefitted from that. But as I said, how can we keep benefiting from that going forward.”